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23 April 2013, 14:06

BeagleBone Black aims to compete with Raspberry Pi

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BeagleBoard logo

The new BeagleBone Black from Texas Instruments is equipped with a 1GHz Sitara ARM335 (Cortex-A8), providing it with greater processing power than the Raspberry Pi. The $45 price includes a power supply and USB cable. The board has a PowerVR SGX graphics unit, which supports OpenGL (2.0, ES 2.0 and ES 1.1), and its video output is provided through Micro HDMI – unlike the Pi, there is no composite output. It also lacks a separate audio output. The BeagleBone Black is available from suppliers now.

The BeagleBoneBlack
Zoom An plethora of outputs: 65 digital I/O, 7 A/D, 4 serial, 2 SPI, 2 I2C and 8 PWM ports offer sufficient flexibility for any hobby project
Source: Texas Instruments

The board comes with 512MB DDR2 RAM, and has Ångström Linux preinstalled in the 2GB eMMC flash memory. There is also an SD slot for adding additional storage. The pin headers can be used to connect a range of expansion cards. A 100Mbit/s Ethernet connection provides the board with network connectivity; extras such as SATA are notably absent. The BeagleBone Black does, however, have plenty of I/O options, with 65 digital I/O, 7 A/D, 4 serial, 2 SPI, 2 I2C and 8 PWM ports. With the exception of the driver for the GPU, all software is open source. For software development, the board supports Bonescript, an Arduino-like language with a web IDE.

Whether TI's ARM board will really have the competition concerned is doubtful. The Raspberry Pi is still cheaper and the $49 Cubieboard offers more memory and more flexibility in terms of external components.


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